Patricia Harris, Associate Professor in the Visual Arts Department, is the first artist to take part in the FollyFields Residency, a new initiative hosted by Millay Arts and Hawthorne Valley Farm. The inspiration for the project is to bring together artists and writers with people engaged in biodynamic farming.
Harris' piece, "Milkweed Phenology," incorporates steel panels along a path at the farm, and explores the various stages of the milkweed plant.
Of her work in the residency, Harris said: “It was wonderful to spend time at the farm and learn something about the life cycle of plants and animals there. I walked the grounds with research scientists and learned about the evolving patterns of the movement of water, the ways in which the landscape has been reshaped for various uses, and the phenology of the humble milkweed planet. Milkweed is everywhere and plays a vital part in the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly. I was fascinated by the varied forms the plant takes as it goes from full bloom, to spiky deadends, to seed pods, and finally to an explosion of seeds and glossy filaments that carry the seeds on the wind. It was this series of changes in form, and how it serves the life of the plant as well as Monarch butterflies, that interested me. I'm glad I was able to depict this narrative through a series of designs along the cow path.”
In addition to teaching at SUNY Old Westbury, Harris has worked on public art projects, exhibitions and shows including PS1/MOMA, Exit Art, PS122, and in Warsaw, Berlin, and throughout New York. Harris has completed work as a designer for Scholastic, McGraw-Hill, Columbia University, and has won two design awards in children's publishing at The New York Book Show.
About the Visual Arts at SUNY Old Westbury
The Visual Arts program at SUNY Old Westbury focuses on a problem and project oriented course of study. Students can pursue studies in:
- Visual Arts (Bachelor of Arts)
- Visual Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts)
- Visual Arts: Electronic Media (Bachelor of Science)
The program of study for majors includes the study of art history and an introduction to the practical problems associated with the pursuit of careers in art. The Visual Arts Department also supports the public exhibitions provided through the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery.